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Elma, Hinsdale fire companies receive federal grants

The Jamison Road Fire Company in Elma has been awarded $41,325 and the Hinsdale Fire Department of Cattaraugus County has been awarded $51,016 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced.

Jamison Road Chief Brian Nolan Jr. said the funds will be used to purchase an in-house air tank filling system which will fill firefighters self-contained breathing apparatus to allow them to breathe in burning buildings and in other hazardous environments. Nolan said the department’s old filling system is not compatible with new breathing apparatus purchased last year. The new system will be also available for use by neighboring fire districts.

Hinsdale Chief Kelly Karst said the federal money will be used to purchase two thermal imaging camera systems, which allow firefighters to see better when they are in a smoky environment and are searching for possible victims. The money also will go toward the purchase of a new air tank filling system involving two new air compressors to replace the department’s old compressor, which dates back to the 1990s and is not nearly as safe as new systems.